Although the COVID-19 virus introduced e-learning to children all over Chicago and the suburbs, some children won’t be able to keep up with their classmates because their families can’t afford to buy the necessary computers or tablets. Chicago Public Schools are making sure all CPS children will get computers, but what about children at parochial, suburban or charter schools? Are they simply out of school and out of luck for the rest of the school year?
Ari Scharg and his partners at Edelson PC worried about those kids. Their own children were busy e-learning at home, and they wanted to help children that didn’t have the means to participate in online education. They decided to donate 100 computers.
The Honorable Grace Dickler, Presiding Judge of Cook County’s Domestic Relations Division, introduced Ari to court-appointed child representatives and organizations that help children. With their guidance, Edelson distributed computers throughout Chicago, suburban Cook County, and to children identified by the Kane County CASA program.
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services was one of the programs that Ari reached out to for help. CVLS is appointed to represent children in difficult minor guardianship and custody cases, msot of whom come from financially struggling families. Ari asked CVLS to help him find 15 families with children that needed computers for e-learning—and we did. 8-year old A.H. was one of those kids. A bright child whose mother died shielding her baby daughter from a street shooting, A.H. and his sister are being raised by their grandparents. They have lots of love for these children, but not much money and they did not have a computer for their budding scholar. But, thanks to Edelson’s generosity, A.H. has a computer now and he’ll be able to keep up with his schoolwork for the duration.
Kim Robinson, the CVLS volunteer attorney who represented A.H. in the guardianship case, said that the family is very appreciative of the gift. A.H. is thrilled.
CVLS is grateful to Edelson and to Ari Scharg for moving quickly and creatively to address an urgent need for one hundred children in our community.